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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Tough stretch looms for Wizards

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

In the third quarter of their 116-91 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, the Wizards were getting back on defense when Coach Flip Saunders called out the play. "One," Saunders shouted. "One."

Then a heckler seated behind the Wizards bench said, "Yeah. One...win on the road. You guys need one win on the road, but it ain't happening tonight."

The Wizards (6-15) have lost 12 in a row away from Verizon Center and won't have another chance to get a road win until Dec. 16 in New Jersey, where they play the Nets. Until then, they will have two home games against the red-hot New York Knicks, winners of six in a row, and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, who beat them earlier this week.

They also have upcoming home games against Miami, Chicago and Indiana. "It's going to be a tough schedule at home but at least we'll be home," Saunders said. "We haven't been able to find consistency on the road. We play well at home and we can regroup."

The Wizards are 6-3 at home, which is the fifth-best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference behind Boston, Chicago, Miami and Orlando. The Los Angeles Clippers are the only other NBA team without a road win this season. Six teams have at least 10 road losses, with the Wizards the only team with 12. All eight of the Wizards' double-digit losses have also come on the road.

"It is frustrating that we are two different teams," Gilbert Arenas said. "A great team at home and a terrible team on the road. We just have to find a happy medium."

FROM THE POST
Here is the game story and the postgame wrap-up.

John Wall misses his seventh game with a new injury to his left foot.

Columnist Tracee Hamilton writes that -- when healthy -- Wall plays so hard it's scary.

A Kentucky reunion took place earlier this week when Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe got together in Southern California. Here's video of Cousins and Clippers rookie sensation Blake Griffin talking about Wall.

On his DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg takes note of Gilbert Arenas's fancy shoes.

AROUND THE WEB
Before the loss to Sacramento, Charley Rosen of FOXSports.com praised Wall's performance against the Lakers.

And at DCist, Rashad Mobley said the close loss to the Lakers was a moral victory.

In non-Wizards news, Ron Artest says he's considering donating half of his $6.8 million salary next season to help increase awareness of mental-health issues in schools. (Scott Howard Cooper, NBA.com.)

The Nuggets have all but decided to trade Carmelo Anthony if he does not sign an extension with the team by the trade deadline, and the New Jersey Nets are in contention. (Ken Berger, CBSSports.com.)

By Michael Lee  | December 9, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards "lay an egg" against Sacramento in final game of West Coast trip
Next: Video: John Wall talks about his injury

Comments

Tough stretch looms for Wizards

Mike, they are all tough streches...

The Los Angeles Clippers are the only other NBA team without a road win this season.

That nakes sense considering the Wizards are the Clippers of the Eastern conference.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Tough stretch looms for Wizards

Mike, they are all tough stretches...

The Los Angeles Clippers are the only other NBA team without a road win this season.

That makes sense considering the Wizards are the Clippers of the Eastern conference.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards have a serious lack of talent, so as bulletsfan78 says, "they are all tough stretches."

However, I am enjoying this team more than the last few years. It got old watching us get beat in the same ways. Now we are geting beaten in new ways! There is something exciting in that.

Besides, if we do build around Wall, then many of these guys will be gone in 3 years. At that point we will have new players, a new coach, a new GM, new marketing slogans and cliches, and we still will get to watch the 2013-2014 Wizards lose in unforseen and unexpected ways, which will be prodigiously exciting for all of us die hard fans!

Posted by: MeviousMan | December 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

eddie jordan was fired after going 1-10 i think. Funny how he's the best coach this team has had since.......................before i knew what a basketball was. I was born in 80 (just turned 30 monday) . the only coach i remember coaching the Bullets/Wizards in the postseason was Jim Lynam with Webb,Strick,Juwan and whoever else getting run by Mike and them. Before or after that nothing.....except eddie jordan with like 4 str8 postseason trips. I wasn't advocating for him when we were 1-10 or whatever, but he got the job done here. Short of winning it all Eddie Jordan coached the most competitive Wizards teams that i got to see during my life. I know that's not saying much, but it kinda is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

eddie jordan was fired after going 1-10 i think. Funny how he's the best coach this team has had since.......................before i knew what a basketball was. I was born in 80 (just turned 30 monday) . the only coach i remember coaching the Bullets/Wizards in the postseason was Jim Lynam with Webb,Strick,Juwan and whoever else getting run by Mike and them. Before or after that nothing.....except eddie jordan with like 4 str8 postseason trips. I wasn't advocating for him when we were 1-10 or whatever, but he got the job done here. Short of winning it all Eddie Jordan coached the most competitive Wizards teams that i got to see during my life. I know that's not saying much, but it kinda is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

I think that speaks a lot more to the state of Wizards hoops over the past three decades than it does of any particular coaching prowess by EJ. He wasn't a bad coach, and I'm not saying Flip is better or worse. But if the high water mark is a bunch of mid 40 win seasons and 1 playoff series win..........oy.

And happy birthday!

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Note to lilhollywood; Happy belated b'day my man; far be it for me to piggyback on your post about EJ but you're 1000% correct. The EJ naysayers will never admit it but they would take him back in a heartbeat(that is except the stupid ones) Grunfeld has ruined this franchise for the forseeable future and Flip is just going through the motions along with most of the players. Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players. The only way to fix this mess is for Ted Leonsis to make wholesale changes in the front office and on the bench and he shouldn't wait until the allstar break just do it now.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 9, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Note to lilhollywood; Happy belated b'day my man; far be it for me to piggyback on your post about EJ but you're 1000% correct. The EJ naysayers will never admit it but they would take him back in a heartbeat(that is except the stupid ones) Grunfeld has ruined this franchise for the forseeable future and Flip is just going through the motions along with most of the players. Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players. The only way to fix this mess is for Ted Leonsis to make wholesale changes in the front office and on the bench and he shouldn't wait until the allstar break, just do it now.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 9, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

So darg,

How come you frequently post the following thoughts:

1) The Wiz were wrong to let EJ go
2) The Wiz should hire....Mike Woodson.....even though I think EJ is currently available.

Just askin.

Posted by: ts35 | December 9, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players.

The 800pound gorilla in the room.

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Flip doesn't seem to place the same value on being a starter that some fans do... Personally, it makes no difference to me.

Unfortunately it doesnt make a bit of difference how you, I, or any other fan feels about it. How the players react to it is pretty critical- starting is a big deal in the pecking order. Everybody wants to outplay their teammates and earn a starting role. Even grumpy azz Pops went out of his way to laud and praise Manu about accepting a 6th man role. I think he went as far as to call him the best player on the team at one time.

Long winded point being...you can negatively screw with the team dynamic by arbitrarily favoring/rewarding some guys while punishing/ignoring others.

Flip's the coach. Can and should handle these things however he sees fit....but handling them in a way that makes for a cohesive team is in his job description.

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

eddie jordan was fired after going 1-10 i think. Funny how he's the best coach this team has had since.......................before i knew what a basketball was. I was born in 80 (just turned 30 monday) . the only coach i remember coaching the Bullets/Wizards in the postseason was Jim Lynam with Webb,Strick,Juwan and whoever else getting run by Mike and them. Before or after that nothing.....except eddie jordan with like 4 str8 postseason trips. I wasn't advocating for him when we were 1-10 or whatever, but he got the job done here. Short of winning it all Eddie Jordan coached the most competitive Wizards teams that i got to see during my life. I know that's not saying much, but it kinda is.

Posted by: lilhollywood10


I have always said that Flip was not a great coach just because he coached KG. He would definitely be a great assistant coach. The man is terrible at substitutions and game planning.
What I loved about Eddie Jordan was that he coached to the players strengths. He did not get the maximum out of his players and what hurt most was that he did not have the backing of the G.M when it came to handling the team when problems came about. In the east, 40 wins gets you in the playoffs and you knew that Eddie was going to get you to the playoffs.
With Flip, you just never know. You can't blame it on injuries or "we are just a young team" excuse all the time. A coach gets the most out of his players and gets them prepared.
When one of your players has the hot hand, RIDE HIM until his wrist falls off. Know who should be your spark off of the bench and don't switch up your lineup just because thats your coaching style.
It's time for Flip to "flip the switch" and get these young pups mentally ready to play some ball. The vets you do have are too advanced for the young boys.

Christmas wish list: New Coach, a big man coach, trainer, decent asst. coach (Sam can stay) and new uni's

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"The EJ naysayers will never admit it but they would take him back in a heartbeat.."

Eww, no way! If he were coaching this team right now, Wall would be deep on the bench and Hinrich would be starting. EJ had some kind of crazy love for veterans and "small ball."

And for the record, I wasn't into Flip when they announced he was coach either. I wanted to them to hire Avery Johnson.

"Funny how he's the best coach this team has had since.......................before i knew what a basketball was."

If you watch basketball at all you will see the teams who have good coaches and the ones who do not. I've watched the Wiz/Bullets since they last won a championship and I don't recall any of the coaches here the last 30 years being worth a hoot since Motta. But then again the last "good" team the "Bullets" had was back in '88.

Bickerstaff was "ok" when he was here I guess but he had a lot of talent on the roster. Thank Wes for killing that team over the infamous "pot" incident, and Billy Crystal for losing our center.

Abe made a lot of bad decisions because he was a bad owner, something Ted is going to have to change. Wall is going to be to the Wiz what Ovie is to the Caps. It's going to get better, it's just going to take a few years and a new GM.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Christmas wish list: New Coach, a big man coach, trainer, decent asst. coach (Sam can stay) and new uni's

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

And a new name. The Wizards just sound too sissy. Let's compare:

Miami Heat = Whoa!
Chicago Bulls = Run
Washington Wizards = Hey, girl!

Posted by: demonj21 | December 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Flip got to go before Ted will be setting in an empty house

Posted by: suliman215 | December 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

'preciate the bday luv fellas. yall are the coolest.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | December 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately it doesnt make a bit of difference how you, I, or any other fan feels about it. How the players react to it is pretty critical- starting is a big deal in the pecking order. Everybody wants to outplay their teammates and earn a starting role.

"Even grumpy azz Pops went out of his way to laud and praise Manu about accepting a 6th man role. I think he went as far as to call him the best player on the team at one time."

You make it sound like it was false praise given for the sole purpose of building team cohesion. Many observers/analysts have noted that, as injuries and age have slowed Duncan a bit, over the past 2 or 3 years, when healthy, Ginobili has been the best player on the Spurs (which isn't necessarily the same as being the most important, which is still Tim Duncan).

"Long winded point being...you can negatively screw with the team dynamic by arbitrarily favoring/rewarding some guys while punishing/ignoring others."

Just because he doesn't favor/reward the guys you want to see favored and rewarded and criticize/ignore the ones you'd like to see criticized/ignored doesn't mean that his choices are "arbitrary." It just means that his perspective on who deserves what is different than than yours. And, as you just said, it really doesn't matter what fans think about it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 9, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Christmas wish list: New Coach, a big man coach, trainer, decent asst. coach (Sam can stay) and new uni's

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I agree!

I wish Eddie Jordan was still our coach. Eddie would be great for Wall... he WAS a guard in the NBA #1, Jason Kidd thrived in his system in NJ, Arenas became an all-star under him also, and Larry Hughes had the best season of his career. He knew how to get the most out of players and he'd have the Wall/Arenas backcourt rolling by now!

That said... I think Mark Jackson could be a good coach.

We desperately need a legit big man coach.

Go back to The Bullets!!

Posted by: Darnell1 | December 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Note to rmcazz: NO!! EJ wouldn't sit John Wall because....................... we would have won more games and wouldn't be in a position to draft Wall, just sayin.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

No one is firing unsuccesful coaches this season,i will take it as a christmas gift if Ted send flip and EG.

Posted by: gtefferra | December 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Who's the yahoo that writes these? The 82 game regular season is a difficult stretch for your Washington Bullets, the most insignificant NBA franchise over the last 30 years. But, you know, we had a pretty good season back in '78. Ha! Ha! I'm so god damn proud of you! Ha Ha! Where's the cake! Ha! Ha! Bring the cake in! This is Bullets Basketball!

Posted by: jwing14 | December 9, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And, as you just said, it really doesn't matter what fans think about it.

What I also said was:

Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players.

----

The 800pound gorilla in the room.
Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 1:34 PM

That's the point to which the issue of starting and PT spoke to, the fact I agree with the poster who said losses like last night may speak to something else.

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"...we would have won more games and wouldn't be in a position to draft Wall, just sayin."

I dunno on that one. :)

"Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players."

I think if you look at Flips roations, they just plain suck. I don't know if there is a disconnect as much as how young this team is.

Most of these kids have never played as much as they are now. On the back to backers, they play super hard the first night and for whatever reason Flip thinks they are all 40 year old men and can't play the same lineup the next night.

There's no logic to that at all. Wall being hurt, ok I understand that, but not the rest of the team.

Flip WILL lose the team if he keeps going like this. On that I agree. You can't have any "chemistry" at all with what he is doing. The previous two games the Wiz played before last night they looked decent even though they lost. Against Phx, they played hard but Nash put on a clinic. I still liked what they brought the first half of that game. Again, they played hard against the Lakers but they are the Lakers.

Flips rotations are a morale killer.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Things must be really bad, the amnesiac lynch party that composes the heart and soul of our little literary effort is nostalgic for Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders / Eddie Jordan ? Wahtever!!!

It doesn't matter. The Wiz just don't have a squad. They haven't for a while. Even with the "Big Three" I don't think anyone liked the fect that they were a jump shooting team with nothing in the middle. We were just happy to see them competing in the playoffs.

We have a make shift squad and have for quite some time. I AM bothered by the fact that during the playoff years, the thinking was that we didn't need to infuse young talent to be back ups that would eventually supplant the vets. to much trading picks or stashing them in Europe or just cold tanking on the pick. Thats a major reason that IMO, the roster sucks.

It's time we go more conventional. No more projects with two undersized combo guards or ultra small teams that have Songaila starting at center. Get a ligit 6"6' 2 guard that can strap up and knock down an open look. LESS GIMPY PLAYERS ALSO.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz just don't have a squad. They haven't for a while.
They've got the center piece of a squad, Wall, as for the rest. Remember the egg they laid in Sacramento, from the previous string? Well we're still waiting for it to hatch, may take a year or two. Until then the yolk is on us.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Note to lilhollywood; Happy belated b'day my man; far be it for me to piggyback on your post about EJ but you're 1000% correct. The EJ naysayers will never admit it but they would take him back in a heartbeat(that is except the stupid ones) Grunfeld has ruined this franchise for the forseeable future and Flip is just going through the motions along with most of the players. Losing to the Kings by 20 plus is insulting and show's a real disconnect between Flip and the players. The only way to fix this mess is for Ted Leonsis to make wholesale changes in the front office and on the bench and he shouldn't wait until the allstar break just do it now."

No we won't. Not in a million years. 40 wins with one playoff series victory for a team with 3 all stars is nothing to brag about from a coaching perspective. Philadelphia was not exactly thrilled with his coaching prowess either. Then again, neither was Sacremento. Usually happens when your career winning percentage is 43%.
Man, I miss him so!

What you somehow fail to realize is that virtually any coach would have achieved what EJ did with those players at that time. He did not get the talent he had to play above expectations. If anything, they fell short of expectations. And that, my friend, is on the coach not the GM who finally assembled a playoff capable team after a couple of decades of moribund ineptitude. When EG tried to get him some help defensively by hiring the best defensive coach in basketball, EJ moronically ran him out of town before training camp began. My hero!

What does it make you if you worship career losers? I'll leave that one alone...lol.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately it doesnt make a bit of difference how you, I, or any other fan feels about it."

I think I'd delete the 'unfortunately'. Reading this blog and others, I think it's for the best if players and coaches ignore it completely. Too much contradictory advice to be of any real value to a developing team. Forward comments and complaints directly to Ted -- he values them. Particularly anything about the ketchup dispensers -- now there's something he can fix immediately.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I do think we have a weak roster. When I compared it to the other bottom-feeders before the season -- particularly Minnesota, the Nets, Philly, the Kings and the Clippers -- I thought maybe we were the weakest overall of the group. Too many rookies and underdeveloped young veterans, too few core-types. And I thought Blatche would be more productive than he has to date.

I understand a coach can make a difference, but I didn't think any of the coaches of the above teams would make that much of a difference. Including Flip and his staff.

So I've been relatively pleased with the progress of McGee and Young and with the play of Arenas and Hinrich. To me, they've done their jobs at least. Thornton has been uneven and Yi a bit of a disappointment. The three rooks have been as advertised -- Wall a major find, the others just not ready yet.

Just my opinion. Maybe others expected a lot more. I think the best is yet to come.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The constant whining about rotations on the third youngest team in the NBA that has had 4/5 players injured at various points is ridiculous!!!

Newsflash: This is not going to be a winning season! I don't care what Flip's rotations are. Btw, he is trying to figure what he has and most of the players are trying to figure out how to play in the NBA. It ain't going to be pretty on most nights. Last season the constant whining was about clueless raw players getting no playing time during a losing season. Well, certain players ARE now getting the playing time you requested and you still complain? C'mon. If Flip followed the advice in here, his rotations would make even less sense than they already do to some people.

This I guarantee....some structure will take shape by midseason as the players determine what their rolls should be based on their current production. Flip has always said the players determine playing time. With a roster this young, nobody knows just yet.

I do know McGee is not a starting C in the NBA right now, but I am not sure Seraphin or anyone else is ready for the role either. The whole in the middle is HUMONGOUS, which is why some competence there in the second half vs the Lake show was very encouraging.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of firing Flip if there isn't a clearly superior alternative available? Eddie Jordan was fired and they hired a much lesser coach in Tapscott, who was the GM's pal. There just aren't that many standout coaches in the NBA. Put 20 or so of the NBA coaches in a game w/ a bag over their head, watch them coach and you probably couldn't tell the difference. IMO there only 2 coaches who have proven they can win w/o being surrounded w/ dominating talent: Larry Brown and Greg Popovich.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 9, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"IMO there only 2 coaches who have proven they can win w/o being surrounded w/ dominating talent: Larry Brown and Greg Popovich.Posted by: randysbailin"

I'd probably expand that list.There are coaches who seem to be better at improving rosters that are less talented, and others (like Phil Jackson and KC Jones) who have excelled at coaching the star-laden club (often a more difficult task). Even then it's often not enough, as Larry Brown found out in MSG.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 9, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"I have always said that Flip was not a great coach just because he coached KG. He would definitely be a great assistant coach. The man is terrible at substitutions and game planning.
What I loved about Eddie Jordan was that he coached to the players strengths. He did not get the maximum out of his players....."

Could this post make any less sense?

First, Phil Jackson has had MJ, Scottie, Shaq, Kobe and on and on and on - is he a bad NBA coach? Certainly is based on your limited logic. KG is about all Flip Saunders ever had in Minnesota and he made the playoffs every year with a few deep runs. EJ had 3 all-stars on his roster and couldn't get past the 1st round.

Then you say that you loved how EJ coached to his players strengths and in the same breath state that he didn't get the most out of his players - the latter part is true at least.

The truth is EJ coached to HIS strengths, which was the vaunted Princeton offense. He was clueless on the defensive side of the ball and the team's performance suffered greatly bc of it. Now, the Wiz didn't have the greatest defensive personal in the history of the NBA, but Tom Thibadeau would have made a difference for sure.

As far as blaming the team's situation on Flip, well, the team IS very young. And, last season, well, that was a debacle that included building dissension, injuries again, and eventually guns in the locker room. The "core" players of that team were just done with each other. None of which had anything to do with Flip Saunders coaching abilities. Remember the late season competence after the trades when we were playing Shaun Livingston, Cartier Martin and Alonzo Gee big minutes? Must have been the talent upgrade 3/4 of the way through the season, right?

FACT: This team is way too young and immature to succeed. The veterans that are hanging around are basically past their primes bc of knee injuries, service time, etc... The whole point is to get a talented group of young guys to grow up together. I think we have a very good start on that goal. Another lottery pick and we might have something special in 2/3 years

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The whole point is to get a talented group of young guys to grow up together. I think we have a very good start on that goal. Another lottery pick and we might have something special in 2/3 years

Which players on the current roster do you see here for that something special in 2-3yrs

Posted by: divi3 | December 9, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"Things must be really bad, the amnesiac lynch party that composes the heart and soul of our little literary effort is nostalgic for Eddie Jordan."

@midlevex: It's bad. Really bad. Flip's going to get fired if he maintains his current approach with the Wizards... Even the most dispassionate among us will agree that Eddie Jordan was more successful than Flip (based on wins and losses and playoff appearances).

Flip doesn't seem to reach this team. And his body language/demeanor just screams, "This isn't the team I thought I'd be coaching, but I might as well stick around for the paycheck."

Posted by: MEssex | December 9, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@MEssex,

What planet are you coming from? The teams that EJ coached and FS has coached thus far are COMPLETELY different. Not even in the same zip code. And, FS's career record is light years better than EJ's including the playoffs. It's not even close! I want what your taking.

@Divi,

Ummm...you can start with John Wall. Seraphin has the potential to be a real center after a couple years of seasoning. Booker will probably fit in nicely as he has shown maturity, speed, and tenacity very early in his career. NY may be a nice scoring option off the bench. Blatche has shown he has the abilities to be a top notch player and is still very young. McGee may one day play with a lot more purpose and harness his raw gifts much better and more consistently than he currently does. A few more pounds wouldn't hurt either. Hell, Yi is a lottery pick and has skills most 7 footers don't and I believe he is only 23.

Who knows how many blossom? They could all fail miserably. But, the point is to stock up on young players that can grow together and are talented when you are REBUILDING. Some will fall by the waste side along the way and some will be there for the turnaround. Starting with John Wall as a virtual lock at PG to turn into a perennial all-star, I think we are heading down the right path.

It only takes 2/3 top notch players to make an NBA team extremely competitive.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 9, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Open Letter To Gilbert Arenas:

Gilbert PLEASE get your swag back. This team needs you to put up 25-30 points per game. I know you can still do it. I also know the team hurt your feelings by taking down your image(s) but for the LOVE OF GOD, please start playing like I know you're still capable!

Posted by: squidward1 | December 9, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Open letter to Flip Saunders:

Please submit your resignation immediately! You have NO clue on how to coach this team. You appear clueless and the team clearly is not responding to you. Your offense is not for this team. There is NO movement and on defense you have been incapable of showing them the proper rotations.

Additionally, your infatuation with Kirk Heinrick is disturbing. This guy is NOT a starter. And for the life of me, why does he dribble SO MUCH! The shot clock is at 10 seconds and he STILL IS POUNDING THE BALL! Are you kidding me!

Please Flip do us all a favor and move on. We hardly knew ye'!

We beg you, please quit!

Posted by: squidward1 | December 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Open letter to squidward1:

Please stop posting nonsense to this board starting immediately.

Hinrich has been a starter virtually his entire career. He dribbles so much bc he is waiting for proper execution of a play. With the way the team sets picks, it's a wonder they ever get any open shots. Funny, John Wall does a lot of dribbling in half court sets as well and yet you don't mention him. Not to mention you don't know what the interactions are between the coach and team. Psycho babble!

As for GA, I got bad news for you. His "swag" days are over. He will have an occasional flashback, but the hibatchi days are basically done. He has lost a half step in quickness although he is still quick, but more importantly he has no explosion or hang time at the rim. Thus, all his attempts to draw fouls rarely work these days bc he can't create the advantages on offense he used to. He is a much easier player to guard and all you have to do is watch a game to know that's true. Now, he is still a very competent player, but nothing like he was. Nowhere near a max guy either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | December 10, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

"What planet are you coming from? The teams that EJ coached and FS has coached thus far are COMPLETELY different. Not even in the same zip code. And, FS's career record is light years better than EJ's including the playoffs. It's not even close! I want what your taking."

@rphilli:

I'm from planet earth. Of course Flip's team is totally different than the ones EJ coached. No debating that point. And Flip probably has a better career winning % than EJ (I'll take your word for it, I don't feel like looking it up). But neither of those facts refute the fact that EJ was more successful IN WASHINGTON, than Flip. Flip definitely got some bad breaks in terms of personnel, as the Wizards have gone from a veteran team to a young team. That said, Flip just doesn't seem to be getting through to these guys.

When I watch basketball, I look for two things: Effort and Organization. Skill level and ability will vary from player to player and team to team, but effort level and organization can compensate for talent deficits. The Wizards play with inconsistent effort, and lack organization on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Players control effort; coaches control organization. Something's gotta give...

Oh, and I'm all for a lively sports debate, but please refrain from personal insults when addressing me. It isn't necessary for you to insult me just to get your point across. I'll treat you with respect, and I expect the same in return.

Posted by: MEssex | December 10, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"IMO there only 2 coaches who have proven they can win w/o being surrounded w/ dominating talent: Larry Brown and Greg Popovich." Posted by: randysbailin | December 9, 2010 7:18 PM

In what universe has Tim Duncan not been a dominating talent during his career?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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